Jatland witnessed a nearly 14% jump in voting on Tuesday, as the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh entered its last and most crucial phase.
With 68 seats, western UP represents the largest chunk of the assembly and a victory there is vital for all parties.
So when 60.08% voters hit the booths across 13 districts — compared to 2007’s 46.58% turnout — the RLD and the Congress cheered.
With the obvious cracks in Mayawati’s “sarvjan samaj” coalition, the combine stands to gain massively.
Back in 2007, this Muslim-Jat dominated area had given the BSP 35 seats — in comparison to 10 for RLD and just 2 for the Congress.
But this time, a change in public mood is evident, especially among the Jats, who comprise 18% of the population and Thakurs and Brahmins, who together comprise 20%.
The fact that Muslims comprise 25% of the votebank, gives the SP a reason to hope as well, even though in 2007, the party had won just three seats.
UPCC spokesman Dwijendra Tripathi claimed the alliance would bag most of the seats — each party contested 34. RLD general secretary Anil Dubey said the figure reflected the first-time voters — who have turned out in strength to vote for Jayant Chaudhury and Rahul Gandhi.
The most telling figure, however, comes from Saharanpur — 64.86% as against 59.78% in 2007, which is also the highest in this round of polls.
The new constituency, which includes most of Mayawati’s erstwhile constituency Haroa, should have been a cakewalk for BSP. But the RLD-Congress led by Qazi Rashid Masood and SP candidate Gujar leader Chaudhury Yashpal are expected to provide tough battle.
Another keen fight will be in Mant (Mathura) where RLD’s Jayant Chaudhury is contesting against Trinamool Congress candidate Shyam Sunder Sharma. The turnout there was 63.8%.